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Chicken and Okra Gumbo

1 lb Okra, sliced
5 tb Vegetable oil
2 lg Onions, chopped
3 Celery ribs, chopped
1 Chicken (3 lbs.), cut up
1/4 c Flour Salt Freshly ground pepper
1 ts Cayenne pepper Chopped scallions and parsley
2 tb File powder (pronounced FEE-LAY -ground sassafras leaves), or 1/4 lb. additional okra


In large Dutch oven, saute okra in 2 tbs. of the oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add onions and celery; cook until wilted. Add 4 cups water; simmer 15 minutes. 2. In a large frying pan, heat remaining 3 tbs. oil over medium-low heat. Add chicken and brown about 5 minutes a side. With tongs, transfer chicken to okra mixture. Stir flour into fat in pan. Cook, stirring, until a nut-brown roux is made, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in about 1 cup liquid from pkra. Stir into remaining liquid in Dutch oven. 3. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is tender, about 50 minutes. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. 4. Add scallions, parsley, and file just before serving. Serve over rice, with French bread. SERVES 6.



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